The Moon will turn blood red on November 8, seemingly to herald the coming of God of War Ragnarök. Thankfully, the sanguine aspect will result from a total lunar eclipse, rather than the actual coming of the end of days. We hope.

The long awaited sequel to Santa Monica Studio’s 2018 God of War is set to hit the shelves later this week on November 9. A combination of rave reviews, and a sometimes hilarious marketing campaign has brought PlayStation console owners to a fever pitch of anticipation, and now it seems that the coming of Ragnarök will benefit from an altogether unlikely source of hype – that of celestial mechanics.

As spotted by Twitter user @EmManuDoll and retweeted in an emoji laden post from the official Santa Monica Studio account, a lunar eclipse is due to take place on November 8 — the night before the release of God of War Ragnarök.

Considering that the upcoming sequel concerns the events surrounding the Norse mythological end of days — one of the heralds for which is the darkening of the Sun and Moon — this seems almost too perfect to be a coincidence.

In the events leading up to Ragnarök, some versions of Norse mythology claim that the giant wolves Skoll and Hati would hunt down the Sun and the Moon and consume them. We know for a fact that this particular element of the mythology will be an important part of the game, as its actually featured in the launch trailer.

Of course, the actual reason for the November 8 reddening of the Moon has nothing to do with gods and monsters, but rather a total lunar eclipse, which occurs when our planet passes between the Moon and the Sun blocking its light.

As the Moon passes fully into Earth’s shadow — also known as its umbra — it takes on a bloody hue. This is due to an effect known as Rayleigh scattering, wherein the light from our star is refracted and scattered as it passes through our planet’s dense atmosphere.

Blue light in particular, which exists at a shorter wavelength than other forms of light, is easily scattered away, while the longer wavelength of red light allows it to pass through the atmosphere more easily. This is the reason that sunrises and sunsets appear red to our human eyes, and during a lunar eclipse the path of some of this light is bent inwards, causing it to shine upon the otherwise shadowed Moon, turning it red.

If you somehow were to find yourself standing on the surface of the Moon looking Earthward at this time, our planet would appear as a black expanse ringed by a bright red glow of sunrises and sunsets.

It’s a rare opportunity to observe the intricate celestial mechanics of our solar system at work, and once its over, stargazers will have to wait until the end of 2025 for a chance to see another total lunar eclipse.

The eclipse will be visible in North America on the night of November 8 starting at 3:09 a.m. CST, with totality occurring almost an hour later at 4:16 a.m. The cosmic coincidence will also be visible throughout the Pacific, Australia, and eastern Asia, so be sure to take a moment to look up and enjoy the view if you happen to be awake in the early hours.

In the meantime check out our performance analysis of God of War Ragnarök to see how the apocalyptic sequel plays on your hardware of choice, and for a more in depth analysis of the game find your way over to IGN’s full review.

Anthony is a freelance contributor covering science and video gaming news for IGN. He has over eight years experience of covering breaking developments in multiple scientific fields and absolutely no time for your shenanigans. Follow him on Twitter @BeardConGamer

Source: IGN Video Games All

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